After mass shootings like the ones in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater, the Wisconsin Sikh temple, the Portland mall, and the Milwaukee spa, conversations about gun control arose, but in the wake of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the conversation of gun control has become ubiquitous.
In 2012 alone, 151 people were either physically wounded or killed in the aftermath of these mass shootings. In the last 30 years, there have been over 62 mass shootings in the United States. The question that many people are asking is whether or not changing our gun control laws would have prevented any of these incidents.
James Mendez, a resident of Gibsonville, N.C., believes that the laws we have now are ok but that they need to just be more strictly enforced. He believes that changing the current gun laws won’t stop people from obtaining guns illegally or doing horrific things with them.
The current gun control laws are focused around the Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Michelle Lewandowski, a junior human services major at Elon University, believes that the focus to leaning too much on the gun control laws currently in place and not enough at mental heath issues.
“I think that [gun control laws] need to be stricter and that they need to have more restrictions if the person has a mental illness,” Lewandowski said.
According to a poll done by CNN, sides are split on the issue some people saying we should have more restrictions on guns and others saying we need to focus on mental health issues.
Jeffery Zieminski, a freshman at Elon University, says that the current gun laws are okay but what is being thought about now after the Sandy Hook shooting is unnecessary.
“[People] talk about giving guns to elementary teachers and I don’t know how I feel about that,” Zieminski said. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Even after all of the hype about gun control laws and public displays of the victims who lost their lives during the events, many people have either been going out to buy guns for themselves or are thinking about getting one. According to a study done by Huffington Post, 67 percent of Americans who own guns have them for protection against crime. Of those that own guns, 74 percent own a rifle or shotgun, 68 own a hand gun, 17 percent own a semi-automatic and the rest own other types of guns.
Marianne Everett, an employee at Skids Restaurant in Burlington, N.C., is currently planning on obtaining a gun permit and wishes to purchase a hand gun for herself and her fiance.
“We have a right to protect ourselves,” Everett said.
She also believes that people on college campuses should be allowed to carry guns as long as they are responsible with them.
Kevin Heiman, a freshman at Elon University would disagree with Everett.
“I don’t want to get killed with a rifle in class.”